Going Green in the Laundry Room

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As industries shift to accommodate a new market for eco-friendly products, your choices as a consumer are becoming more and more important to the task of creating a greener world. This permeates your schedule day-to-day, including the part where you have to do your laundry.

Home and garden writer Alyssa Davis talks about this area of your week, and lists some ways for you to make your laundry day a more eco-friendly pursuit.

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The laundry room has a lot of potential when it comes to green living.  It can be a challenge to find ways to live a green lifestyle, especially if you are on a budget and don’t have the money to lay out for extensive home upgrades. The laundry room is a great place to start thinking green, however, and the tips that follow will help you to make more eco-friendly choices when it comes to doing laundry.

Choose Energy Star Laundry Appliances

While it doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to run out and replace your old energy-sucking washer and dryer pair with a sleek, energy-saving duo, it is a smart move when the time comes.  When replacing laundry appliances, look for those that have the Energy Star logo when you’re buying new ones.  Energy Star washing machines consume only about 25 gallons of water per load, as compared with an average of 40 gallons for standard top-loading machines.  Energy Star dryers also take much less energy than their non-energy saving counterparts.

Choose a Front-Loading Washer

Go even greener by choosing a front-loading washing machine.  The front-loading washer operates on a horizontal axis, and this can save both energy and water.  The front-loader needs less water to do the same job as a top-loader because the tub rotates, tumbling the clothing inside into the water, as opposed to top-loading machines that must be filled in order to do their job.  And the top-loading machine also reduces the amount of energy that is required to dry your clothing, as they spin at a faster rate, which means that the clothes have less water in them when they are finished in the wash.

A front-loading washing machine uses about a third less water and half the energy of a traditional top-loading washing machine. This savings can easily allow the washer to pay for itself within five-six years of purchase, although most top-loaders have a life expectancy of ten years or longer with proper maintenance.

Quick tips for laundry day

As mentioned above, it isn’t a green move to replace an appliance that is still in working order. Why?  Because the old appliance has to end up somewhere – and that eventual home is typically an already overburdened landfill.  Thus, keeping your appliance for as long as possible is a more earth-friendly option.  But you can still follow the tips below to get the most out of your older laundry appliances:

  • Wash in cold water.  Cold water can be gentler on your clothing, and it can also save up to ninety percent of the cost of doing laundry from an energy perspective.
  • Designate a particular day of the week as “laundry day” and do subsequent loads in order to maximize the built-up heat in the dryer.
  • Always make sure that you wash full loads.  You will be using almost the same energy for a “small” load as for a “large” load.
  • Consider line drying clothing when possible. This will not only save energy but is also gentler on most fabrics.
  • Keep the lint trap of your dryer cleaned out after each load.  This allows for heat to circulate properly within the dryer, and thus improves the dryer’s performance.

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Thanks, Alyssa!

In addition to writing about home and garden topics of all kinds, Alyssa Davis of Metal-Wall-Art.com specializes in creating stylish interiors with welcome signs metal wall art and Tuscan metal wall art.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.